Mind Matters

Do things differently in 2024 – don’t start the year setting yourself up to fail. A series of small wins all contribute to your larger goals, advises therapeutic coach Lynn Scholes

New Year’s resolutions often fail because they’re often vague, unrealistic or lack a clear plan. People may set overly ambitious goals without breaking them down into smaller, achievable steps, making it harder to stay committed. Additionally, motivation tends to wane over time, leading to a loss of focus on the resolution.

Instead of traditional New Year’s resolutions, consider setting specific, realistic goals with measurable steps. Focus on creating sustainable habits and emphasise progress over perfection. It can be helpful to set smaller, achievable milestones throughout the year rather than one overarching resolution. Additionally, prioritise self-compassion and adaptability, acknowledging that setbacks are a normal part of any journey towards self-improvement.

Some people replace traditional New Year’s resolutions with goal-setting frameworks like SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound). This for me is too business like and whilst it may work for the process driven amongst us, it can feel too prescriptive. 

The model I have seen most people have success with is to opt for theme-based intentions for the year, focusing on broader areas of improvement or personal development. Instead of a single resolution, people may set ongoing, smaller goals and prioritise continuous self-improvement throughout the year. Cultivating habits and making gradual lifestyle changes can also be a more sustainable approach.

Typical areas for self-development may be, health, fitness, work, learning, relationships taking up a new sport – there are many options. Maybe 2024 is the year you want to really push yourself and take yourself out of your comfort zone – think about what that looks like for you and put it in your plan. 

Decide on your end goal and when you want to achieve it by. Then take some time to look at everything that needs to happen for that goal to become a reality. Break it down to tasks and decide how you are going to work on each task. You may colour code them as to how challenging they are going to be and make sure you work on a mix of the easier and more difficult tasks.

Achieving the easier ones will keep you motivated to keep going with the more difficult ones. For most people writing things down is really important. However, for those that writing doesn’t help, why not record yourself a set of voice notes. For many sharing your goals with a friend and asking them to check in with you every now and again, may help to keep you focused. Remember to celebrate the small wins, just like pennies add up to pounds, the small wins all contribute to your larger goals. 

Many golfers when asked about mindset will tell you they do not focus on the end result, but they focus on the process of how to get there. They don’t look at the score but concentrate on hitting each shot to the best of their ability. Do that and the score will take care of itself. 

If you set only one goal in 2024 make it to be happy and have fun, whatever that looks like for you.

Lynn Scholes is a writer, therapeutic coach, trainer and speaker working with individuals and companies

To find out more contact Lynn on 07753 579745 or go to: focus101.co.uk



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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